Leadbitter: Cup tie is a massive game

IPSWICH Town go into tomorrow’s Carling Cup fourth round home tie with League Two Northampton Town on the back of three league defeats, but key midfielder Grant Leadbitter is undeterred saying that the signs are good.

IPSWICH Town go into tomorrow’s Carling Cup fourth round home tie with League Two Northampton Town on the back of three league defeats, but key midfielder Grant Leadbitter is undeterred saying that the signs are good.

The hellish situation of losing three on the bounce has put a severe dent into hopes of a top six finish, but Leadbitter had this message today for worried Town fans.

“The signs are good,” he insisted.

“This squad is a better one than last season’s and with players who want to play for this club. This is important.

“We are sticking together in the dressing room and our fans should stick together as well.

“We have every faith in the manager and his staff, and there will be no players coming out and having a go.”

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Despite this fighting talk from a gritty north easterner, Leadbitter knows the importance of winning against the Cobblers – a win that would take Town into the quarter-finals.

“It’s a massive game,” he said.

“And we have got to be ready for it as for Northampton it will be their cup final.

“They wanted a bigger club after beating Liverpool and they will see this as their chance to ensure that might happen in the next round.

“We have had a reality check and we must get back to basics.

“But we didn’t get carried away when we were winning matches at the start of the season and we’re not going to get carried away now.

“We must all stick together, staff, players and supporters.

“Losing three games on the trot is not nice, but it happens to every team, and we know we can get out of this – starting tomorrow.”

Leadbitter is looking ahead one game at a time and he is not concerned at a failure to score in the opening half and making a slow start every match.

“We were doing that in August and September and there were no complaints,” he said. “This is because we were winning games.

“And we will again. As I say the signs are good with a tight-knit squad that is right behind the manager and the club.”

While Keane’s position is secure the last week has not been a good one for him and if fortunes do not improve there will come a point when club owner Marcus Evans starts making a few discreet phone calls.

Town fans will be thinking this way after the heartbreak of seeing all the optimism go up in smoke over three very poor games against winnable opposition.

Keane is still their man – and he will be even more so with Wembley just two wins away if Northampton can be overcome.

Leadbitter, for one, is confident Keane will turn things around.

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